LIVE PREVIEW: Beach House at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater – September 21

Beach House w/ Jessica Pratt | Pabst Theater | $24.75

Dream-pop is one of those genre labels that can be used to tag a multitude of bands, but few bands wear the genre like a crown quite as much as Beach House.

No more than one month after the release of Depression Cherry, their fourth studio album, the Baltimore duo will fill the beautiful and historic Pabst Theater with their coordinately alluring music on Monday, September 21st. The show will mark their first appearance at the venue in three years, when the group wowed an incredibly gracious, nearly sold-out crowd in October of 2012.

That performance proved to be a series of breakthrough moments in my adoration of the band, thrusting them from a band I simply enjoyed, to a band I actually cared about and connected with. The show provided an added depth to the band’s songs: while the studio versions of the songs certainly hold a modest-yet-ever-present crescendo, the soundscapes laid out by Victoria LeGrand and Alex Scully in a live setting were alarmingly loud. The volume provided an opportunity to connect with the music in a way one could only experience with the volume of the nearest stereo turned up high enough to warrant ear plugs.

When a band only returns to a city once every few years, their live shows gain an extraordinary significance to them. Much like when a group doesn’t oversaturate listeners with a new album (or more) every single year, when a band like Beach House returns to your favorite local venue, each show is anticipated and appreciated even more.

Monday’s setlist will be newly reconstructed as well. While you can bet good money on hits like “Myth”, “Zebra”, “Lazuli”, and “Take Care” being played at some point throughout the set, fans can anticipate to hear a good amount of cuts from Depression Cherry. And there’s a fair amount of new sound from Beach House on their latest effort, without straying away from the sound that has now become the group’s badge. Lead single “Sparks” holds an odd and unexpected tonal progression to it that hasn’t been heard from Beach House before; like that strange, warm feeling you get in your neck when you twist it the wrong way when checking your blind spot, leaving you slightly uncomfortable, but not enough that you swerve off the road. I’m hoping that “Space Song”, a personal favorite on Depression Cherry, makes the cut on Monday night as well.

Opening the evening of music on Monday night at The Pabst will be Jessica Pratt, one of 2015’s fastest rising singer-songwriters. Pratt’s sophomore album On Your Own Love Again was released earlier this year to rave reviews. Her music begs not to be pigeonholed into any single genre, but Pratt wears her influences on her sleeve, performing a unique brand of folk music. This makes Pratt a fitting selection to open the show on Monday, an artist who is the highlight of a musical genre, while never letting the music be held down by genre labels.

Tickets for Monday’s show are $24.75 and as of this writing, in limited quantity. This show will likely sell out, so don’t sleep on getting your tickets early.